Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral seat of the imperial House of Hohenzollern. A popular tourist destination, Hohenzollern castle has over 300,000 visitors per year, making it one of the most visited castles in Germany. The castle sits atop the 855 meters Berg Hohenzollern, an isolated 855 m promontory on the western side of the Swabian Alps.

The first fortress on the mountain was constructed in the early 11th century. Over the years the House of Hohenzollern split several times, but the castle remained in the Swabian branch, the dynastic seniors of the Franconian-Brandenburgian cadet branch that later acquired its own imperial throne. This castle was completely destroyed in 1423 after a ten-month siege by the free imperial cities of Swabia. A larger and sturdier structure was constructed from 1454 to 1461, which served as a refuge for the Catholic Swabian Hohenzollerns, including during the Thirty Years' War. By the end of the 18th century it was thought to have lost its strategic importance and gradually fell into disrepair, leading to the demolition of several dilapidated buildings. Today, only the medieval chapel remains.

The final castle was built between 1846 and 1867 as a family memorial by Hohenzollern scion King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Architect Friedrich August Stüler based his design on English Gothic Revival architecture and the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. No member of the Hohenzollern family was in permanent or regular residence when it was completed, and none the three Deutsche Kaiser of the late 19th and early 20th century German Empire ever occupied the castle; in 1945 it briefly became the home of the former Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany, son of the last Hohenzollern monarch, Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Since 1952, the castle has been filled with art and historical artifacts from the collections of the Hohenzollern family and the former Hohenzollern Museum in Schloss Monbijou. Among the historical artifacts of Prussian history contained in the castle are the Crown of Wilhelm II, some of the personal effects of King Frederick the Great, and a letter from US President George Washington thanking Hohenzollern descendant Baron von Steuben for his service in the American Revolutionary War. From 1952 until 1991 the caskets of Frederick Wilhelm I and Frederick the Great were in the chapel, but were moved back to Potsdam following German reunification in 1991.

The castle is still privately owned, with two-thirds belonging to the Brandenburg-Prussian family line.

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Details

Founded: 1454/1846
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ashley s (18 months ago)
Went today, there was parking and bathrooms by the parking lot. Hiked up to the top and it was closed! Ha I should have guessed but I was hopeful to be able to walk around :[ it is an impressive castle ?
Oleg Bogomolov (18 months ago)
Great place! It is closed at the moment because of Covid but you can observe the castle from the point on another hill which is on the contrary. It is amazing.
Noud Frenken (19 months ago)
Great castle. Looks imposing from a distance. But is somehow smaller when you're in it. It's perfectly preserved including lots of the rooms and treasures.
Scott Baker (2 years ago)
Really lovely place to visit, visited plenty of castles in the UK and this is up there as one of my favourites. Can even get food and drinks inside the castle walls. Worth a visit if you're in the area
Anna Kučerová (2 years ago)
They are letting too many people in. We bought the tickets month in advance (there is no other way right now) and it was unfortunately raining. The castle position is pretty windy and in bad weather you are just going to be stuck outside of the buildings in queues waiting for entrance to each of them for tens of minutes. Otherwise the castle is nice.
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